Cars and sport utility vehicles topped with kayaks, canoes and bikes were the norm Friday evening in downtown Marietta as the city's first Rivers, Trails & Ales Festival got into full swing.
The event is designed to showcase the area's natural resources by day and wild side by night.
After spending the day riding streets or trails, or paddling the Ohio or Muskingum rivers, participants are encouraged to stop by the armory on Front Street -the headquarters for the festival - or one of several local restaurants or taverns to take in live musical acts and a handcrafted ale.
BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times
Robby Morgenstern, 35, of Marietta, takes a break from a ride Friday evening to take in some of the sights and sounds of the Rivers, Trails & Ales Festival near the Armory on Front Street. Several bike rides, paddling events and musical acts are scheduled through Sunday. Also, several local restaurants and taverns are featuring regional beers.
Amy Pittman, 35, of Vienna, W.Va., said she's just getting started into biking but she's been a fan of Marietta's music scene for some time.
"I really like what's been going on at The Adelphia and (Marietta Brewing Company)," Pittman said. "There's always some really good music, and of course, spirits."
Pittman and some friends were sitting near the armory Friday taking in one of the local bands.
10 a.m.: Trail group riders meet.
9 to 11 a.m.: Dragon boat rides at the Marietta College boat house.
5 p.m.: Live music at the armory.
7:30 p.m.: Pub crawl tour.
10 a.m.: Pygmy boat parade on the Muskingum River, near the armory.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Pygmy boats on display.
1 p.m.: Mighty Muskingum Raft Race check in at Indian Acres Park.
2 p.m.: Raft race begins.
For a full listing of events and activities:
James Maddox, 30, of Marietta, one of the event coordinators, said many of the bands set to play late Friday or Saturday get in a "tune up" session at the armory stage before heading to a local tavern for a later show.
"It gives everyone a little preview of what they're all about," he said. "I think people are going to like that."
Other weekend events include dragon boat rides at Marietta College boathouse Saturday and the annual Muskingum River raft race Sunday. Friday's events were in conjunction with downtown's Merchants and Artist Walk, a monthly summer event pairing local artists with stores.
Robby Morgenstern, 35, of Marietta, took a break from a bike ride Friday evening to talk with some other riders and listen to some of the musical acts at the armory.
"So far it's been pretty nice," Morgenstern said. "I saw a lot of people out riding this morning. It seems like people are interested."
All of the festival activities are fee and open to the public. There are special VIP passes that can be purchased for $20 that get special discounts at several downtown shops and restaurants.
Scott and Amy Sims, of New Philadelphia, were browsing the downtown shops Friday during the Merchants and Artist Walk.
"We come down for a merchant walk a few times each summer but we may have to come back tomorrow or Sunday," said Scott Sims, 44. "We like to ride and get out on the water. It sounds like a good time."